• Great Sand Dunes and Sangre de Cristo Mountains

    Great Sand Dunes

    National Park & Preserve Colorado

Sandboarding Skiing and Sledding

Boy Sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes

Sandboards and sand sleds that are specifically designed for sand provide the best sliding experience.

NPS/Patrick Myers

1-minute video introduction to:

Sandboarding and Sand Sledding at Great Sand Dunes

Learn how to sand sled or sandboard in this fun 1-minute video with music on YouTube. National Park Service, 2013.

 
Girl Sandboarding on High Dune Summit

Girl sandboarding off High Dune

NPS/Patrick Myers

Sand sledding or sandboarding can be fun with the right gear and conditions. Below are tips for an enjoyable and safe sledding or sandboarding experience at Great Sand Dunes.

What Works and When to Go

  • Sandboards and sand sleds are specifically made for sand, featuring a special design and slick bases; these work best for sliding in most conditions.
  • Snow sleds and snowboards only slide after recent rain or snow. During dry times, the sand may get too soft for sliding to occur.
  • Cardboard, rounded saucers, and soft plastic items don't slide; they will dig into or drag on the sand.
  • Rectangles of rigid plastic or masonite may slide, but are not safe: there is no way to control or steer them, and their angled edges could cause injuries.
  • Plan your dunes time for early morning or evening during summer to avoid 150 degree F sand or thunderstorms.
  • Skis may slide on the sand, but not as well as sandboards and sand sleds.
 
Girl Sand Sledding

Sand sledding

NPS/Patrick Myers

Where to Go

Sandboarding, sledding, and skiing are permitted anywhere on the dunefield away from vegetated areas. From the main visitor parking area, it's a minimum 0.7 mile hike to get to the small or medium-sized slopes; the top of the first big dune is 1.25 miles.

With high clearance 4WD vehicle, visitors may drive on the Medano Pass Primitive Road to the Castle Creek Picnic Area; there, a 300' tall slope is right across from the parking area.

 
Ranger and Kids with Sandboards

Sand sleds (first two sleds) have a padded seat and handles. The girl on the right holds a sandboard, with footstraps for standing.

NPS/Patrick Myers

Rentals

Great Sand Dunes National Park does not rent sleds or sandboards; these may be rented or purchased at various retailers. In the San Luis Valley, sandboards and sand sleds are available year-round for rent or purchase at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa,719-589-9759.

From April - October, a limited number of sandboards and sand sleds are available for rent at the Oasis Store just outside the park entrance, 719-378-2222.

Did You Know?

Myrtle Woods, PEO member

The Ladies' PEO organization led the original effort to make Great Sand Dunes a national monument in 1932. Pictured at left is Myrtle Woods, a member of PEO at that time. More...